Home » A Workers Compensation Lawyer Looks at 9-11

Even though it’s still tough to watch 20 years later, anyone can see that the seemingly endless video footage of 9/11/2001 shows Americans at their best… when life is at its worst.

We see what was supposed to be a normal day in America. We see people, who have kissed their families goodbye only hours before, going to work. Because that’s what workers do. We watch as they head to their jobs in office buildings and, later, to rescue those at their jobs in office buildings.

We do this simple ritual every day. We say goodby to the ones we love and we head into the office, or the restaurant or the factory, or down into the coal mines. We expect to put in an honest day’s work and then to clock out and rejoin our loved ones at home or our friends.

But that day, on a scale that we’ve never seen, thousands of our fellow Americans went to work never to return. Many went to work only to be changed forever.

We can’t help but hear the determination in the recordings of their voices. We hear them asking for someone to come help them out of a terrible situation. We hear them fighting for their lives against those who would inflict great pain.

On the days surrounding 9/11/2001 there was much praise of those who acted heroically, running into burning buildings, putting others’ lives ahead of their own, digging for victims in piles of debris and ash.

911 Victims

20 Years Later: Has System Failed Those Who Were Hurt At Work?

Heroism knows no bounds. Some heroes were on the clock that day, and some were bystanders who had to get involved. As attorneys who fight for the rights of people hurt at work, perhaps we have a special point of view.

Over 91,000 workers and volunteers were exposed to hazardous conditions during rescue and recovery at the various sites of destruction. Many who were lending a hand as volunteers or as first-responders or as construction workers who gradually found themselves battling a wide range of workplace injuries.

We see that those involved in the many phases of 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean up as well as those who were victims of the attack show much higher rates of cancer, breathing problems, depression, PTST and other disorders.

And then there are the stories of those denied treatment and compensation because of loopholes due to the man-made nature of the event. Many 9/11 responders report feeling betrayed by the system and the nation they thought they were fighting to protect on the day we were attacked.

Being Hurt At Work Can Be A Lonely Experience

Thousands involved in the attacks of 9/11 were pulled into a group experience that was tough, deadly and traumatic. But in some ways, even if only symbolically, they had the prayers and wishes of a nation and most of the world behind them.

Getting hurt at work for most people can mean a lonely fight to regain your strength, your ability to earn a living and provide for your family and little if any fanfare. Injured workers often refuse to even report the injury, much less seek medical treatment and take the necessary time off to recover.

The average worker who gets injured at work is often made to feel guilty for reporting his injury to his employer, trying to file for workers comp, filing a claim, taking time off and simply healing. And if the injured worker’s injuries are undeniable, he or she is further hurt by lost wages, pain and suffering, and being at odds with the employer’s insurance company who simply sees them as a number – a liability.

While heroes like those who are still feeling the pain of 9/11 are rare, we workers compensation attorneys see everyday heroes on a daily basis who just want to return to work to do their jobs.

Sometimes they have family and community behind them. And sometimes even their employers try to do what’s right by them. But often times it’s just them fighting alone while injured. And that’s when we go to work.

We don’t rush into buildings to put out fires, but we take our duty to protect innocent workers very seriously. It is our commitment to offer you honest and relevant legal advice and to aid you in receiving your full workers compensation benefits afforded to you through workers compensation insurance.

We Protect The Everyday Heroes

If there’s anything that can be learned from the twenty years that followed 9/11, it’s that America is made up of working men and women who go to extraordinary lengths to do what’s right. We must also be reminded of how important it is to do right by the workers when they’ve been hurt working hard.